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Noisy Bottom Bracket

Old 04-09-20, 11:42 AM
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state95
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Noisy Bottom Bracket

Hello,

I've had an annoying intermittent clicking noise coming from the bottom bracket area of my bike for the past year or so. I removed and reinstalled the bottom bracket last year, hoping it was loose and a re-installation would fix the problem. Obviously, that didn't work. It only happens when pedaling and can be heard anywhere from once per revolution to multiple times per revolution and, as previously stated, happens intermittently. Is this noise due to worn bearings, perhaps? Other? The bike is a 12 year old Surly Steamroller single speed. I have a video depicting the noise but I am unable to post it due to my lack of ten posts.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-09-20, 12:07 PM
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bikeaddiction1
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Just make sure it is the BB and not a pedal, or the crank bolts a bit loose, or even the chain, I've seen that happen. Does it happen when there is no load, like on a bike stand or with the back wheel in the air?
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Old 04-09-20, 03:07 PM
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state95
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Originally Posted by bikeaddiction1 View Post
Just make sure it is the BB and not a pedal, or the crank bolts a bit loose, or even the chain, I've seen that happen. Does it happen when there is no load, like on a bike stand or with the back wheel in the air?
Thanks for the reply! It only happens with a load, not on the bike stand.
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Old 04-09-20, 05:36 PM
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SethAZ 
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Last summer I finally isolated and fixed an extremely annoying creak, and the ultimate source of it was something that I'd never have expected it. Finally tried something I saw on a forum or web page somewhere and that was it.

I replaced the cleats on the bottom of my shoes. The cleats were very well worn. The creak went away. Apparently my cleats were either loose enough, or worn enough that they were rubbing on something, I don't know, but that fixed it.

Of course I only got to that point after removing my pedals, pulling them apart, regreasing, pre-tensioning them, reinstalling them (Shimano Ultegra pedals).
Replacing the bottom bracket.
Lubing everything I could think of to lube, including even dribbling a little mineral oil under my Brooks saddle where the leather rolled over the frame bits.
Reinstalling and re-torquing both the saddle to seat post, and the seat post itself.
Some other little things I've forgotten about, but which I thought might be it.

Nope, it was the cleats. I absolutely hate unwarranted noise from my bike. All I want to hear is the hollow resonance of my carbon wheels, and that tiny amount of noise from the chain going through the idler pulleys. Anything else I will hunt down mercilessly and eliminate. Good luck in your hunting!
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Old 04-10-20, 05:47 AM
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andrewclaus
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My story turned out to be the saddle clamp. If the noise goes away when you stand in the pedals, clean and tighten the seat post. It's amazing how noises telegraph into the bottom bracket.
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Old 04-10-20, 06:28 AM
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Moe Zhoost
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I was having an intermittent clicking under load a few years back. I checked everything - BB, pedals, crank and chainring bolts, shoe laces, rack mounting, saddle ... everything but the real cause that became immediately apparent when my crank arm broke while climbing a hill. What I was hearing was a small crack opening and closing, getting bigger and bigger. Since then I periodically check my crank arms for cracks using a bright light and magnifier.

This is probably not your issue; however it should be ruled out
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Old 04-10-20, 06:39 AM
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texaspandj
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Wish I could find the thread where I posted what I did when I had a noisy BB on my favorite'86 bike. As I recall, I overhauled BB, then freewheel, then hubs, then etc.
​​​​​​ Although it measured fine and was well maintained, it was the CHAIN...it was old though.
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Old 04-15-20, 11:24 AM
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state95
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

So I put my bike back on the repair stand again to try to locate the culprit. This time around I could hear the noise while pedaling it on the stand. Prior to this, I could only hear it when I was on the bike pedaling with a bit of force. The sound appears to originate from the rear hub and not the bottom bracket as I had assumed. I have a flip-flop hub so I decided to flip the wheel and hook up the chain to the fixed cog instead of the freewheel, which I have always used when riding. This seems to have taken care of the issue so I have ordered a new freewheel, in hopes that it will silence the knocking. Now I need to get the chain to be quieter. After measuring it, it doesn't appear that it needs replacing. I think I just need better alignment.
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Old 04-15-20, 04:32 PM
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A friends Trek 5200 had a creak we could not find. Did all of the normal things and found the creak by accident. When he put it on the roof rack to go home I pushed the fork back and forth to make sure it was tight enough. That's when the creak started. The QR wasn't tight enough.
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